Integrating sustainability into business processes in one challenge, communication it with the stake-holders from share-holders to employees is another thing altogether. Many an organisations while doing in great in former, lack much in latter. Sustainability communication can be a real game changer in this regards.
Aviation sector is renowned to be one of the biggest emitters of GHGs, and hence is looked down upon. But over the years, there has been lot of positive efforts made by the players to change this image. One of the players that seems to be doing it rather well, is India’s largest private airlines operator, Jet Airways. It has put in processes to not only cut emissions but spread the word about such efforts.
The deal is simple, unless you identify your stakeholders and you keep communicating where you are going or want to go, sustainability will never take off. Manish Goswami, DGM – Environment Affairs at Jet Airways India flies us through some interesting pockets of Sustaino-sphere as he helps us get a grip on challenges like. Here’s what he had to say to Shashwat DC.
What’s your formula to communicating this unusual subject?
For a business, there are multiple areas for sustainability focus (e.g. work place, service, service process, production, supply chain, operations, and customers). Classification and prioritization of the areas for sustainability focus is one of the important and intricate tasks.
Communication strategy follows only after the above has been achieved. Identification of the key stakeholders and the spread & depth of the requisite communication are key factors in determining the communication strategy.
So you have a formal work-plan here? Does it entail external components?
Yes, we have a formal strategy for communication of sustainability strategy in respect of the area of highest priority.
Sustainability is strategic for businesses. Hence, the aim of sustainability efforts is to achieve the strategic objectives. Most of the times, especially when communicating with external stakeholders, engagement of external consultants is beneficial.
It’s not easy for sure?
If you ask me some key challenges, top-of-the-hat items would be: Content development, selection of the communication channel (mode of communication) and placement.
Is there any ingredient in your approach which breaks the mould?
Collaboration / association with a sustainable effort which has high appeal, potential and is in itself an effective communication strategy. We have adopted this in the case of our association with Team Shunya.
What in brief, would describe your communication radar so far?
Communication of sustainability strategy is vital. If not communicated internally, the organization won’t be able to implement the change necessary to make it more sustainable. If not communicated externally, to customers, partners, and the public, the business could lose the market to the increasing number of environmentally-conscious consumers. Social media is also highly relevant and effective when an organization intends to communicate externally. So, we have a social media strategy in place.